GOOD GOVERNANCE AND EFFECTIVE POLICY
“The level of environmental destruction evidenced in world wide desertification and global climate change, combined with rising populations and aspirations will demand a greater need for good governance than any time in history. The single greatest role of government is the formulation of policies”. Allan Savory
While policies impact all areas of our lives – citizenship, taxation, education, etc. – it is environmental policies that impact us most profoundly in the long term. Environmental policies directly affect the quality of life people experience, which in turn influences whether they live in peace or ultimately chaos and genocide.
Global climate change, desertification, widespread loss of biodiversity and related social and economic issues cannot be overcome on a large scale without reevaluating the way in which policy on a governmental and organizational level is created and implemented.
Policies universally are designed to do one of two things, solve a problem (reactive) or prevent a problem (proactive). Either way, the problem must be identified and its root cause comprehensively addressed in order for that policy to be sound. The policy must be formulated in such a way as to address social, economic and environmental concerns in the short and in the long term simultaneously. Policy furthermore must be monitored for its effectiveness, understanding that there may be variables that are unknown or changing as a policy goes through its various stages of implementation.
The massive rise in populations and degradation of land underlies most of the poverty and increasing violence being experienced in many regions of the world. Land degradation (desertification) inevitably leads to increased frequency and severity of floods and droughts, with no change in the weather. And desertification leads to poverty, social breakdown, violence, political instability, and genocide. In fact, desertification leads to most of the symptoms these regions, and development agencies assisting them, grapple with, and from which millions of people suffer and die.
Much of the work needed to reverse desertification and global climate change, including sequestration of carbon and global energy policy, deals directly with natural resource use and management. In particular, the need comes to light in how we manage the tools of technology, fire, rest, the use of large animals, and how we employ our creativity and stewardship of money and labor.
Because policy formulation and project development are such an important government role, all policies and projects need to be holistically coordinated. Holistic coordination means that policies and projects are coordinated economically, socially and environmentally simultaneously. Such coordination does not exist in any nation today.
The examples abound from any nation of policies and projects achieving their objective but causing endless additional problems because the complexity involved was not addressed.
Millions of dollars are spent in the United States alone on implementing policy that is not linked with the quality of life of those people most affected by that policy, nor with that of the country as a whole, leading unintentionally to destroying the livelihoods of thousands of farmers not only in the U.S. but in other countries.
Sound policy allows us to save these millions that governments and organizations spend currently on activities that address symptoms, rather than the root causes of problems.
We can realize that, if money is spent to address symptoms of known problems, it is done so knowingly in order to alleviate immediate suffering while a complex, underlying root cause is identified and addressed to sufficient scope.
One step is to incorporate changes in management of farms, ranches, public lands and businesses. Another is to speak out and help policymakers, and those pulling strings behind the policymakers, understand the need for change.
Let us be clear – We must impact how policy is formulated and implemented if we have any hope of reversing desertification and global climate change.
Allan Savory has trained over 2,000 U.S. government agency staff in Holistic Management, analyzing their own policies and these policies’ potential for long-term success. After their training, the participants concluded, “We now recognize that unsound resource management is universal in the United States.”
“Having been in Parliament and President of a political party, I would never again dream of being in politics without being able to form all policies with the Holistic Management framework. Worldwide, people seek good governance. No ‘isms’ (Communism, Capitalism, Socialism, Racialism, etc) provide the basis of good governance, neither can religions, personalities nor party platforms. Governments will provide good governance if they form policies holistically. In fact, those policies are more fundamental to providing good governance than is the form, structure or ideology of that government.” Allan Savory